late November? Work in progress: Rosemarine is behind the scenes preparing for the parliamentary elections in her municipality

late November?  Work in progress: Rosemarine is behind the scenes preparing for the parliamentary elections in her municipality

He is being pressured for election organizers, who should be in the starting blocks just after the government falls. They say there is not enough time to prepare for the upcoming elections in their municipality. “The first emails have already gone out.”

Because of the fall of the Rutte IV government last week, the Netherlands is heading to the polls early for parliamentary elections. They are on November 22nd. Isn’t that a little late? Two of the election coordinators explained that they have a lot of work to do, while they have less time than usual.

directly into control mode

It doesn’t help that we’re in the middle of summer break, says Rosemarijn Bos. It is primarily responsible for elections in the municipality of Pest Brabant. “There’s a lot of organization behind that point you put on the ballot paper with a pencil.”

Where she usually has over half a year to prepare, now this is 4 months. So the Brabant election organizer immediately entered the position of organizing after the fall of the cabinet. “I immediately took the script from the previous election. I already figured out in my head how I was going to handle it now.”

Hard to get to due to holidays

This begins with sending emails to potential polling stations, such as gyms, schools, and community centers. Polling stations must meet all requirements. “Is it wheelchair accessible? Is there enough space for voting booths? Is there enough lighting? Etc,” she explains.

“You have to take many aspects into account,” Rosemarine continues. She says the fact that many organizations are now less accessible due to the summer holidays doesn’t make it any easier.

See also  Provinces are concerned about the consequences of staffing shortages in urban and regional transportation

complete work

Rosemarijn will also have to recruit polling station members in the near future. In addition, she must ensure that enough ballot papers and lists of candidates reach her from the printer. “They have to go to all the electors again, so we’ll sit around the table with the carriers.”

Recruiting volunteers is particularly challenging. I noticed that it was becoming increasingly difficult to arrange the members of the polling stations and the vote counter. “But the help gives you very insight into the election process.”

Don’t do it in one night.

Rosemaryjn understands that some people say November feels a little distant for new elections, especially since so many important political dossiers are still on the table. But according to her, there is no other way. Aside from all the work she has already done in the elections in her municipality, there is also a lot to prepare on a national scale.

“The political parties have to rank the candidates and they should all be examined in turns. Only when it is right can the lists of candidates go to the printers. They have to print all the ballots and ballot papers for about 340 municipalities. I’m not going to do that in one night.”

In addition to normal duties

All of Rosemarijn’s preparatory work comes on top of her daily tasks. This is also the case with Ina Heijes, who is part of Elburg’s civil affairs team. She has been responsible for organizing elections in the municipality of Gelderland for several years.

See also  In Portugal, managers are no longer allowed to call their employees after working hours | a job

“Normal labor continues,” she says. However, activities such as registering births and deaths or issuing driver’s licenses and passports were not affected. “It’s not that we’re hiring additional people. We’re looking at people who can be deployed additionally. And those could also be people from other departments.”

“Watch out, he’s coming.”

“A whole circus,” this is how Inna calls the election preparations. She, too, was at first immediately after the fall of the cabinet.

I have already sent the first emails. They went to sites that could serve as polling stations. I signaled “Watch out, it’s coming again”. Then they can actually take that into account. “

Big Paper Factory

Now that the exact date for the parliamentary elections is known, “the real work begins,” says Ina. “And later in the process, in the final weeks before the election, the big paper mill began to turn around.” Refers to the processing of all ballot papers and lists of candidates for polling stations and residents.

All of these thousands of printed party lists and voting cards must be sent to all eligible voters in her municipality. It’s not exactly the best job, says the election organizer, pointing to the administration involved.

Big surprise

She believes this can be done more sustainably by offering more digital options. Rosemarijn also believes that digital voting will make her work easier and faster. Not only will it save a lot of prep work, but it will also make vote counting easier.

See also  The Belgian government tightens Corona’s measures: “All signs are in red”

“Now we spend hours counting as soon as the polls close. We have to reveal all these huge ballot papers, and then we have to look for that little red dot. Then we have to sort everything out by party. It’s an awful lot of work. There’s really an amazement longer.” With us: why can’t we arrange this digitally in 2023?

‘We’re having a party’

Despite all this arrangement and a lot of paperwork, the two organizers believe that preparing for the elections is a fun project. “Especially because you have so much contact with people,” says Ina.

“We always have a party on Election Day, even if it’s a long day. But then, as colleagues, you work together in a different way.”

Especially on vacation

Rosemarijn is preparing for a busy few months. “Because you have to take many points into account, you constantly feel a certain pressure,” says the election organizer. “You want everything to go well and that’s hard.”

It’s also a fun process, she adds. It’s especially important, she adds, not to lose yourself. “That is why it never occurred to me, after the fall of the government, to change my required vacation days this summer. I need that rest during this period.”

Asks? Ask them!

Do you have questions or want a response? Send us a message here in our chat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top